In light of the reaction to J.K. Rowling’s announcement that she regrets Hermione and Ron’s relationship, I’ve decided to express my opinions, because clearly not enough people are doing that.
Many reactions I’ve seen have included ideas such as Ron is not smart enough to make Hermione happy, Hermione and Harry should have been together, or that Ron just doesn’t deserve her. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed.
Full disclosure: I love that Ron and Hermione end up together (and they do, and always will, end up together no matter what J.K. Rowling regrets). While Ron does not always excel academically, he is smart, caring, and loving. I wholeheartedly think that Ron is a good match for Hermione because he is goofy, he makes her laugh, and he genuinely wants to learn from her. Also the whole fact that, you know, Hermione wants to be with him and he wants to be with her so who are we to judge and say he isn’t good enough.
Having Harry and Hermione not end up together gives a power to their friendship. Hermione believes in Harry when he loses faith in himself and if she can only do that if she wants to marry him then what does that say about friendship? I love that their relationship gives people the permission they didn’t need but might have been waiting for to fully support their friends of opposite genders in the same way.
Also, many seem to have forgotten about Ginny. While the movie script didn’t give Bonnie Wright much to work with, in the book Ginny is fearless and transitions from being starstruck around Harry, to understanding him as a person. She isn’t afraid to tell him he is being an idiot and their pairing is one of my favorites in the series.
As my wonderful friend Allie pointed out to me today, J.K. Rowling has set an awful precedent for writers. Part of the magic of literature is once it’s done, it’s done. You don’t get to go back and say, “Oops just let me change just one thing.” It is left for your readers to interpret, love, hate, and love to hate.
If every writer decides to come out of the woodwork and say “Oops!” then my time as a student of literature is about to get a lot more complicated. In the end, a writer’s intentions matter very little. That is the reason we must be incredibly careful about how we write if we want to successfully get our point across.
Once a piece of fiction is in the hands of it’s readers, as John Green would say, it belongs to them. The writer’s interpretations are no more valid than the readers and they certainly don’t get to go back and change it.
As a writer, I understand these kinds of decisions are difficult. There are so many ways stories can go and I’ve agonized for hours over directions a plot should take. If you want to write a story with multiple endings and plots, write a choose your own adventure book. Otherwise, make your decisions.
A kind, laid-back, brave individual (Ron) and an intelligent, passionate, and supportive individual (Hermione) fell in love. They love each other, as well as their close friend, Harry. I don’t see why that is something to regret.
Note: The featured image was taken on the London street where Diagon Alley scenes were filmed.